Administration & Support Staff

John Brentar

John Brentar, Ph.D., Executive Director

Dr. Brentar is a licensed psychologist who received his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Ohio University. He completed his predoctoral internship at the Albany Medical College in New York. Following his internship, Dr. Brentar was a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Health Council. He remained at the Children’s Health Council for 13 years, serving as a staff psychologist, Clinical Director, and Clinical Training Director. In 1991, he joined the staff of Morrissey-Compton Educational Center on a part-time basis, and in 2006, Morrissey-Compton was excited to welcome him as its Executive Director. In addition to his role as Director, Dr. Brentar continues to conduct evaluations and provide therapy to children and adults. He also consults with the Behavioral Pediatrics Department at the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. In addition, he is an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences where he teaches seminars of psychological assessments of children and adolescents. Dr. Brentar’s professional interests focus on learning disabilities, executive functioning, Attention/Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Asperger’s Disorder, and other developmental disorders.

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Suzy MusicSuzy Music, Office Manager

Suzy joined Morrissey-Compton in 2008 to serve as a homework coach and research assistant. Suzy grew up in Ohio and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from John Carroll University. During her undergraduate years, she spent a year in Italy, where she learned to speak Italian fluently and immersed herself in Italian culture. As a homework coach for Morrissey-Compton, she helps students organize their schoolwork and tutors them in specific subjects. She is also starting a homework club that will provide small groups of students with general academic support.

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Kathy KinkaidKathy Kinkaid, B.A.

Kathy grew up outside of Buffalo, New York. She attended SUNY at Buffalo where she studied Business Administration. Kathy served as the Director of Sales and Service Administration at Telesensory for 18 years. In 2000, she joined our staff on a part-time basis. She also works at the Midpeninsula Speech and Language Clinic in Palo Alto.

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Surina BashoSurina Basho, Ph.D.

Director of Research in Learning Differences, Executive Function Psychologist

Dr. Basho has expertise in cognitive neuroscience, executive function, and learning differences. While earning her Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University, Dr. Basho worked with renowned executive function expert Dr. Lynn Meltzer, conducting neuropsychological assessments, individualized intervention for students, and research in the classroom. She also co-authored a chapter with Dr. Meltzer in the book, Executive Function in the Classroom: Fostering Strategic Mindsets across the Grades and Content Areas (2010). At Morrissey-Compton, Dr. Basho is currently building a research program around executive function and learning disabilities in children; providing one-on-one individualized educational therapy to students; training teachers and schools in how to integrate executive function into the classroom for all students; and providing educational talks to the parent community.

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Suzanne FreedbergSuzanne Freedberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Suzanne (Suzie) Freedberg specializes in the psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with educational, behavioral, and social-emotional challenges, including learning disorders, attention or executive functioning deficits, and language disorders. Dr. Freedberg is a Massachusetts native and received her B.A. in Psychology from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. She earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in School Psychology from Fordham University. During her graduate training, Dr. Freedberg completed a year-long externship focusing on pediatric neuropsychological assessment at Milestones Psychology, a private assessment practice in Manhattan. She received intensive school-based training through practica experiences at various public and private schools in New York City, as well as a one-year pre-doctoral internship in the San Francisco Unified School District. Throughout her training, Dr. Freedberg also conducted testing for Prep for Prep, a not-for-profit educational program, to support high-potential, low-income students’ applications to a program that offered intensive academic preparation and independent school placement opportunities.

Dr. Freedberg has a professional interest in supporting the learning of high-ability or gifted students, and her doctoral research focused on how teachers can enhance the learning of these students through self-regulation and differentiated instruction. As a post-doctoral fellow at Morrissey-Compton, Dr. Freedberg is looking forward to drawing on her school-based training to consult closely with teachers, student support teams, and families. Dr. Freedberg enjoys communicating a student’s learning potential within a school setting, identifying potential barriers to a student’s success in school, and implementing actionable, school-based recommendations.

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Laura Guthridge Chyou, Ph.D.Laura Guthridge Chyou, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Guthridge Chyou is a Bay Area native and completed her B.S. in Psychology at Santa Clara University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During her time at Boston College, Dr. Chyou conducted research on children’s peer relationships, particularly how children respond to interpersonal challenges within their friendships and how their response styles affect their social and emotional wellbeing. She also completed research examining the role of friends as bystanders and potential allies in dating violence prevention efforts among college aged adults. Additionally, a central focus of Dr. Chyou’s clinical work has centered around understanding best practices in providing mental health services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. Dr. Chyou served as a co-facilitator and member of the Diversity Committee both at Boston College and at the Massachusetts General Hospital Health Center in Charlestown, MA. She also founded and co-chaired a consultation and support group for Spanish speaking clinicians at Boston College. Dr. Chyou completed her predoctoral internship at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, CA. She has strong clinical training and experience in working with children and adolescents experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, and traumatic stress. Dr. Chyou also enjoys working with young children in play therapy and assisting parents and families in supporting youth with mental health challenges. Dr. Chyou studied Spanish in college and throughout her graduate training. She has experience providing therapy and assessment services to Spanish-speaking children and families and is passionate about the importance of increasing the accessibility of mental health treatment to the Spanish-speaking community.

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Kate Ekman, Ph.D.Kate Ekman, Psy.D.

Kate Ekman is a clinical psychologist specializing in treatment of children and families. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology in 2009. After three years in various roles including teaching abroad and counseling children on the inpatient psychiatric unit of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., she came out west to begin graduate training in clinical psychology. Kate graduated from the Wright Institute in 2017 and completed her postdoctoral residency on the Kaiser Richmond Child & Family Team in 2018. Kate specializes in psychodiagnostic assessment, treatment of child anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, and trauma-based interventions. Her approach is Family Systems oriented, believing that treating the child often requires healing the family dynamic and improving communication.

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Mickell LethcoMickell Lethco, Psy.D.

Dr. Mickell Lethco fell in love with neuropsychology while obtaining her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. She utilizes her deep understanding of how brains work to inform her assessments, therapy, and community outreach. Dr. Lethco works closely with clients and their families to identify the true source of the problem and the solutions that work best based on the most up-to-date research and the unique circumstances and preferences of each client. In addition to neuropsychology, she offers a unique background in music and art. She incorporates art and music into her psychotherapy sessions alongside evidence-based practices such as Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Dr. Lethco has worked in a wide variety of settings including schools, community mental health, private practice, and inpatient neurorehabilitation. She has completed assessments and provided therapy services across the lifespan for individuals with learning disability, ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, complex trauma, addiction, traumatic brain injury, expression and receptive language impairment, spinal cord injury, and various neurodegenerative disorders. As a bilingual clinician, Dr. Lethco has worked with numerous monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants, and she is passionate about providing culturally appropriate assessment and therapy to Latinx community members

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Ariel D. Marrero, Psy.D., CTRP-CAriel D. Marrero, Psy.D., CTRP-C

Dr. Ariel Marrero is a Latinx clinician who specializes in providing culturally attuned and trauma informed therapy, assessment, and consultation services to children and families. A New York native, Dr. Marrero received her BA in Psychology and her MS in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY New Paltz. She then moved to Virginia to pursue her doctorate at the Combined-Integrated Clinical and School Psychology program at James Madison University. Dr. Marrero recently completed her pre-doctoral internship at Milton Hershey School, a K-12 residential boarding school where she provided trauma-informed mental health services to children from low income families.

Dr. Marrero is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Morrissey-Compton and is excited to work with families in the Bay area. She is a Certified Trauma and Resilience Practitioner (CTRP) with clinical interests in early childhood trauma, parent-child bonding, and foster/adoptive families. Her goal is to help caregivers understand and respond to their child’s unique relational needs to promote positive family relationships. Her clinical framework is deeply rooted in cultural humility, equity, and social justice, recognizing the impact that culture, identity, and power have on our day-to-day lives. Dr. Marrero utilizes interventions such as Child-Centered Play Therapy, Theraplay, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, and Circle of Security to empower families and provide them with the tools needed to overcome their challenges

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Zach Rosenberg, Psy.D.Zach Rosenberg, Psy.D.

Dr. Zach Rosenberg is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in child and adolescent therapy and assessment. After receiving his B.A. in psychology from Whitman College, he spent a year working as a research assistant in the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rosenberg then earned his doctorate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. During his training, he worked in several community mental health centers, such as CHAC and StarVista. As a doctoral student, he also worked in the Prevention and Intervention Lab at Stanford University’s Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where he completed diagnostic assessments for adolescents with mood symptoms. Dr. Rosenberg completed his predoctoral internship at the APA-accredited Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Center (SAPIC). There, he continued his therapy and assessment training with children and adolescents in a community mental health setting. He additionally worked at the University of Arizona’s Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center as a therapist for college students with learning challenges. Dr. Rosenberg joined Morrissey-Compton as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019, and has since completed all of his training and licensure requirements. Dr. Rosenberg routinely utilizes a CBT approach to therapy, and is especially interested in treating children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, and trauma. Dr. Rosenberg is a Bay Area native who enjoys watching Warriors, Sharks, and Giants games, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

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Speech and Language Pathologist

Sandra BurkeSandra Burke, M.S., SLP-CCC

Sandra Burke has been working with children and adults with communication difficulties for 25 years. She has worked in several settings, such as home health care, assisted living facilities, special day classes, public and private schools, and university clinics. She has experience in serving populations with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, ADHD, articulation and phonological processing disorder, apraxia, expressive & receptive language impairment, pragmatic language/social communication delays, higher level language processing difficulties, and reading & writing challenges. She received her Master of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech and Language Pathology from San Francisco State University. Prior to graduate school, Sandra earned a B.A. in Communicative Disorders and also studied Special Education and Linguistics at San Francisco State University. Sandra is also the speech-language pathologist at Hope Technology School (HTS), a full-inclusion school in Palo Alto, CA. She provides therapy and assessment services with individuals ranging from preschool to post-secondary education.

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Educational Specialists

Ashley Kinkaid KoedelAshley Kinkaid Koedel, M.A.

Director of of Educational Services

Ashley Koedel joined the Morrissey-Compton family in the summer of 2010 as a Challenge School teacher, and in 2011, became a full-time Educational Specialist. At Morrissey-Compton Ashley provides diagnostic evaluations, consultations, advocacy services, and trainings for parents and educators. She is also Director of Challenge School, our summer school program for students with mild to moderate learning challenges. Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After some years in the business world, she returned to Notre Dame De Namur University where she received her Single Subject English Credential and her Master’s in Education. Having been a classroom teacher in both the primary and secondary classrooms and in both mainstream and special instruction programs, Ashley understands the importance of differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all learners. In addition to teaching at Challenge School and her work at the Morrissey-Compton office, Ashley is also currently working with the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services and the Juvenile Probation Department advocating for the educational rights of children within the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Ashley also works at as the Educational Liaison for the Single Ventricle Program at Stanford Children’s Health.

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Molly BlackMolly Black

Molly Black is an Executive Function Coach, serving middle, high school and college students throughout the Bay Area. Molly has worked with students with ADHD and EF challenges for over 30 years. She founded the Learning Disability Program at Stanford University in 1989, and was the director of Stanford’s Disability Resource Center. Later, Molly directed the LD program at the University of Texas College of Engineering. She is also founding director emeritus of the Academic Resource Center at Crystal Springs Uplands School, an independent school for students in grades 6 -12 in Hillsborough, CA.

Molly draws on a depth of experience with students to provide online coaching and strategies for time management, organization, planning, prioritizing, study skills, test prep and self-advocacy.

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Brooke Budelli, M.A.Brooke Budelli, M.A.

Brooke Budelli joins Morrisey-Compton with a diverse background in education and a strong desire to help students find success. She attended Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo where she received her undergraduate degree in Child Development. She then attended the University of San Francisco and got a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in Education. She had such a passion for her coursework in reading instruction, that she continued her education and received a Reading Specialist Certificate. She worked at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes for 3 years as a Clinician and also started a private tutoring business and successful summer intervention program. She worked at Sacred Heart in Atherton for 9 years as both a first and second grade teacher and then as the K-5 Assessment and Reading Specialist. Brooke’s strength is establishing rapport, trust and respect with her students so that the student is able to make significant academic progress while ensuring she

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Kim DonellanKim Donellan, M.B.A., ET/P, CA

Kim Donellan in an Educational Therapist and has always been very involved in and very dedicated to helping children maximize their full potential. Her inspiration to help people with learning differences came from her two sisters, both born with different disabilities. Kim began her career in education over 10 years ago working at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. From there, she began her private practice and helped start a school for children with ASD. Kim joined Morrissey-Compton as an Educational Specialist in 2017. She is trained in all of the Lindamood-Bell programs (Visualizing & Verbalizing, Seeing Stars, Talkies, LiPS, and On Cloud Nine Math), Orton-Gillingham, Making Math Real, TouchMath, Handwiting Without Tears, Seeing My Time: Executive Functioning Success, Zones of Regulation, Kimochis: Social & Emotional Learning, and TEACCH: Autism Program through the University of North Carolina. Kim is a Certified Autism Specialist and has her Autism Certificate. She is certified in Pivotal Response Training (PRT) through The Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kim earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Davis. She earned her Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of California, Davis. She earned her graduate certificate in Educational Therapy from the University of California, Riverside Extension Program.

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Adria FloresAdria Flores, M.A.

Adria Flores has worked as an educational specialist at Morrissey-Compton since 2015. She has a teaching credential and worked as a classroom teacher for nine years. During that time, Adria also pursued a Master’s in Literacy and Language Education and a Reading Specialist Credential from San Francisco State University. After many years as a private tutor, Adria was trained in the Slingerland method and began working at Morrissey-Compton. Along with her Slingerland training, she has been trained in Step Up to Writing, 6+1 Traits Writing, and Guided Reading and Writing. Adria particularly enjoys working with K-8 students to unlock a love of literacy.

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Edwige Gamache, M.A., Ph.D., Educational SpecialistEdwige Gamache, M.A, Ph.D.

Edwige Gamache does bilingual tutoring for students in elementary school through college. She was born, raised, and educated in France and in the U.S and earned a Masters in Spanish Applied Linguistics from the Universidad de Jaén in Spain. In addition, she received a PhD in Romance Linguistics, French Literature and Cultures from UC Berkeley. Edwige has been teaching since 1997 in both high school and college, with much expertise and experience in teaching bilingual students. She lives in Montara with her family. Her extensive travels have taken her to Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Spain, to name a few.

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Elsa Gay, B.S.Elsa Gay

Elsa has worked as an Educational Therapist since 2015. She is currently earning her Doctorate in Psychology through the PGSP-Stanford Consortium. Her drive to serve students with learning differences is driven by her own experience with dyslexia. She is passionate about empowering her students with the tools they need to thrive academically. Prior to joining Morrissey Compton, Elsa worked at the UCLA PEERS Lab at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Elsa is an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner and Executive Functioning Coach. Elsa holds a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

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Kelley LafondKelley Lafond, M.Ed.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Kelley has enjoyed a lifetime love of education and working with young people spanning over 30 years. An avid equestrian and former professional rider/trainer, Kelley also holds a master’s degree in secondary education and is a California state credentialed teacher with many years both in the classroom and working in private practice. Kelley is also a full-time Ed.S. student at the University of Virginia and hopes to continue her studies with a Ph.D. in Education in 2022.  She lives in Redwood City with her husband and teen daughter and enjoys the antics of her three Welsh Corgis.

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Erin PowersErin Powers, M.A.

Erin Powers has been a practicing Educational Therapist for over twenty five years. She has coordinated learning services for Kehillah Jewish High School for the past five years, and maintains a thriving private practice. She previously directed all of the learning services at the Carey (elementary) School, and Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco. In each independent school, Ms. Powers provided services and support to students with learning differences,working in partnership with parents and faculty. In addition, Ms. Powers teaches courses in Educational Therapy through the University of California Extension Program at Santa Cruz, with varied class offerings ranging from “Introduction to Educational Therapy,” to “ADHD in the Classroom- for teachers.” Ms. Powers holds a B.A. in psychology from UC Santa Cruz as well as a Masters of Education in Special Education from San Francisco State University. She further holds two California Teaching Credentials, one which is multi-subject and another in Special Education with an emphasis on Learning Handicapped. Additionally, Ms. Powers is certified as both a Resource Specialist and is a Board Certified Educational Therapist.

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Courtney SamuelsonCourtney Samuelson, M.A.

Courtney Samuelson joins Morrissey-Compton in 2022, bringing a joy of helping students succeed in their educational environments. Originally from Boston, MA, she graduated from Williams College before spending a few years working in Communications. Upon making the switch into teaching, she obtained her Master of Arts in Teaching degree and Multiple Subject Credential from the University of San Francisco. During her years in the Bay Area, Courtney has worked at independent schools, most recently at Phillips Brooks School, where she was a second grade teacher for many years before becoming the Literacy Enrichment Coordinator, focusing on student intervention, curriculum development, and assessment. Embodying a true love of learning, Courtney went on to get her Reading and Literacy Credential as well as Orton-Gillingham training. She believes students learn best when they feel confident and are having fun, and seeks ways to form connections and engage learners.

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Allison StephensAllison Stephens, M.S.

Allison Stephens, M.S., graduated from The University of Arizona (U of A) with a Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders. She received her Master’s Degree from SFSU in Speech-Language Pathology. Allison has worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist in the public school system as well as in private clinics. She also went through training and was an instructor at The Lindamood Bell Learning Processes Center. Allison provided instruction with children using programs such as Visualizing and Verbalizing, Seeing Stars, Lindamood Bell Phoneme and Sequencing and On Cloud Nine. Therapy was based on developing the sensory-cognitive processes that underline reading, spelling, math, language comprehension, attention, memory and critical thinking. Allison believes in an individualized approach for each child, and she thrives in maximizing communicative growth. Allison’s clinical strengths include early language development, articulation and phonology, preschool and school-age receptive and expressive language delays, social skills, and literacy skills.

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Robert Urowsky, M.A.Robert Urowsky, M.A.

Robert Urowsky, M.A. comes to Morrissey-Compton from Edgewood Community School in San Francisco, where he was the principal. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience related to developing and maintaining positive behavioral support plans and navigating the  maze. Robert offers educational therapy with a focus on Slingerland (e.g., phonemic awareness, decoding, orthography, reading fluency, reading comprehension, handwriting, spelling, and written expression). His main focus will be in this area; however, he is familiar with other programs such as Step Up To Writing®, Making Math RealT, and Social Thinking®. His approach is strength-based and student-centered, and he is open to seeing students grades 3 to 12.

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Parent Educational & Social Skills Groups

Sue Garber, M.A., Director of Parent Education and Social Skills Groups, Certified Parent Coaching Institute Parent CoachSue Garber, M.A.

Director of Parent Education and Social Skills Groups
Certified Parent Coaching Institute® Parent Coach

Sue received a Master’s degree in Special Education from University of Wisconsin – Madison. The focus of her studies was on children who experienced social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Sue coordinated the Parent Education program at Children’s Health Council for five years before joining Morrissey-Compton, where she directs our Parent Education and Social Skills Groups programs. Sue facilitates groups with children who need support in areas such as: developing and maintaining friendships, improving ability to regulate emotions, decreasing impulsivity, and increasing problem solving skills. Her background includes clinical training at Michelle Garcia Winner’s Center for Social Thinking®. Additionally, in her role as a Parent Coaching Institute® (PCI) certified Parent Coach, Sue guides parents as they learn and implement new strategies to communicate more effectively with their children. Sue provides community outreach at Morrissey-Compton, arranging for expert speakers to present at schools and other organizations.

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Julia Clark, Ph.D.Julia Clark, Ph.D.

Dr. Julia Clark has particular interests in psychological assessment and in working with children with disruptive behavior disorder behaviors and their families. After receiving her B.A. in psychology from Whitman College, she worked as a research project manager in the psychology department at Stanford for two years. She then attended the University of New Orleans and received her M.S. in Applied Developmental Psychology, and completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Louisiana State University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. During her internship year, she provided therapy and assessment services to adults, children, and adolescents hospitalized for psychiatric concerns, and worked in a partial hospitalization treatment program with children and adolescents. Throughout her graduate training, Dr. Clark has worked across a variety of settings, including a pediatric clinic, an inpatient psychiatric unit for adolescents, a summer day treatment program for children with ADHD, and the departmental psychological services center, completing comprehensive psychological evaluations. Dr. Clark is trained in using a range of evidence-based treatments and assessment measures for both children and adolescents, including CBT, DBT, ACT, motivational interviewing, behavioral management training, and functional family therapy. She is a Bay Area native and is glad to be back and spending time with family and friends.

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